The Supacat ATMP is one of those interesting vehicles that just seems evergreen, so when I looked at the Springer I lamented the withdrawal of the ATMP, whatever the good reasons at the time.
The full story of Springer can be found here
To recap, the ATMP was withdrawn because of serviceability issues in Afghanistan an FOI response provided the full picture;
The MoD considered various options to fulfil the requirement for the role of the Springer vehicle. A Quad Bike and trailer however was not considered at the time because the trailer’s maximum payload did not meet the MoD’s defined capability requirement.
Other options considered were various vehicle types from industry. The following is a list of companies, and if applicable their fielded vehicles, that theMinistry of Defence (MoD) invited to ‘Express an Interest’ in fulfilling the requirement:
- Roush Technologies Limited – Balter 2
- Development Engineering and Enterprise Limited – WVL-C6-AS
- Enhanced Protection Systems UK Limited – Tomcar
- Supacat Limited – ATMP 2 (The ATMP 2 would have been based on the ATMP but it was never built)
- John Deere Limited – Vehicle unknown
- Yamaha Corporation
- Honda Motor Company Limited
- JC Bamford Excavators Limited
Of these Yamaha, Honda and JC Bamford Excavators declined the MoD’s offer.
I’m afraid I am unable to establish the precise model of the vehicle that John Deere fielded however I hope the list gives you an indication of the general types of vehicle that were considered.
The delivery of the Springer vehicle into Afghanistan started in July 2009 and ended with the last batch, consisting of 2 Springer vehicles, received inAfghanistanin July 2010. Transportation of the Springer vehicles, to and from Afghanistan, was via land and sea.
Unfortunately, I am unable to provide you with an estimated disposal value for the Springer vehicle. This is because, to date, the MoD has never sold any Springers and as a consequence we do not have price or value information available.
While researching answers for your supplementary questions I learnt that a total of 29 Springer vehicles were deployed to Afghanistan, and not 27 as I originally informed you.
All Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP)
The ATMP vehicle came into service in December 1999 and deployed with 16 Air Assault Brigade. It was used for re-supply, casualty evacuation, radio rebroadcast and refuelling because it could carry a single NATO standard pallet, ammunition, anti-tank mines and other bulky or heavy stores. Originally 65 ATMPs were procured, and over the lifetime of the ATMP capability, additional vehicles were purchased but details on the final number are no longer held. The ATMP was deployed to Afghanistan, but was withdrawn from theatre and was declared out of service in November 2010.
As at 31 January 2012, the MoD has declared 147 ATMP vehicles for disposal and achieved a total sale value £442k (excluding VAT).
Reliability, availability and cost: …ATMP was underperforming in the hot and dry conditions of Afghanistan and was suffering from extreme reliability problems (less than 49% availability at best) . Since April 2008 over 500 major spares had been required to maintain the ATMP fleet and this has cost in excess of £124,000 for the spares alone. Transport of these spares, including whole vehicle engines and gearboxes, has added a significant burden to an already overburdened supply chain and the expenditure of maintaining this fleet is considered to be excessive. The LFLCP [Land Forces Load carrying Platform] capability is critical to support the current concept of operations and therefore the TECR [Theatre Equipment Capability Review] recommended that action was taken to improve ATMP availability; this could be through an environmental mitigation programme or fleet replacement with an alternative more reliable vehicle that meets the current theatre requirement. Subsequent investigation by SUV IPT [Specialist Utility Vehicle Integrated Project Team] has found that the ATMP cannot be enhanced with an environmental mitigation package. In fact, any modification of the platform would result in a complete redesign of the base vehicle which would equate to the procurement of a new system.
b. Obsolescence and manufacture time. Supacat were the design authority and sole manufacturer of the ATMP. Supacat has not manufactured ATMP since 2003. SUV IPT have been informed that it would take up to 24 months to reconfigure the old production line and manufacture new vehicles before they would be ready for operations. Secondly the major assemblies that were used in the current UK version of the ATMP fleet vehicle were no longer available as they do not meet EU regulations. Any new procurement of the ATMP would result in a new variant which would not have any automotive similarities with the current ATMP.”
A year after that post PaulG proposed the German Mungo air portable vehicle as an off the shelf replacement, click here
We of course know that Springer was a bit of a failure (to say the least)
Both PaulG and I concluded that the requirement is still there; a lightweight, high payload, high mobility ‘mule’ for air mobile forces and that this requirement could not be met by quad bikes.
So if not Mungo, what?
Step forward Supacat.
At the recent Land Forces 2014 exhibition in Australia, Supacat showed off their concept for a new and improved Supacat, the MkIV
Commenting on the updated design, Michael Halloran, MD of Supacat Pty Ltd, the Australian subsidiary of Supacat, said:
When we looked around the market, we found that there is nothing that combines the payload, mobility and robustness of the ATMP, so in developing this concept vehicle we decided to look at maintaining the fundamental strengths of the platform while updating the human interface and the automotive and communication systems.
So there you go, the replacement for the fantastically flexible and all round brilliant ATMP is in fact, another ATMP.